Italian marines prepare to check and document African migrants after transporting them from a commercial ship to a navy vessel in the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Libya early in October   2014. Photograph: Lynsey Addario/The New York Times)

The Italian navy will continue a search and rescue mission which has saved the lives of an estimated 150,000 refugees because no order has been receiv(...)

Peter Sutherland: Europe’s populist parties have been allowed  to frame migration as “people getting over borders” when it is more complex than that. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

UN special representative for migration Peter Sutherland has called on incoming European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to establish a commi(...)

Refugees leave the Italian Navy ship ‘Etna’, which rescued some  2,186 migrants off the Sicily coasts, as it arrives in Salerno, Southern Italy today. Photograph: Cesare Abbate/EPA.

Nineteen people died trying to reach Italy on a boat packed with hundreds of migrants, probably poisoned by carbon monoxide fumes from its engines, th(...)

A file image of migrants sitting on a boat during a rescue operation by the Italian navy some 60km off the coast of Libya earlier this month. The Italian navy found some 30 people dead on a migrant boat this weekend and rescued about 5,000 others. Photograph: Marina Militare/Handout via Reuters.

About 30 people have been found dead on a boat packed with migrants off the coast of Sicily. Italy’s navy also rescued thousands of others who were(...)

Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta gestures during a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome on Wednesday. He resisted  pressure  to resign and let centre-left leader Matteo Renzi form a new government. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta faces a showdown with his own centre-left party on Thursday that could lead to his resignation and the appo(...)

Silvio Berlusconi addresses supporters in Rome on Saturday. Photograph: AP Photo/Roberto Monaldo/Lapresse

The first item on the agenda of Silvio Berlusconi’s new party was “the split”. No sooner had Mr Berlusconi “refounded” Forza Italia on Saturday mornin(...)

Italian center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome last week. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters.

“A whole political era has come to an end; Wednesday [in parliament] marked the end of 20 years, in a political context and with a fierce political co(...)

Silvio Berlusconi appears headed for expulsion from the Italian senate, in the process being stripped of his parliamentary immunity. Photograph: Reuters/Tony Gentile

This has not been a good week for former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Just two days after he effected an abrupt and embarrassing U-turn i(...)

Body bags containing African migrants, who drowned trying to reach Italian shores, lie in a hangar of the Lampedusa airport. Photograph: Antonio Parrinello/Reuters

Divers are battling with choppy waters in the search for dozens of migrants believed to have drowned after their rickety boat caught fire and sank off(...)

Rescued migrants arrive onboard a coastguard vessel at the harbour of Lampedusa this morning. Photograph: Nino Randazzo/ASP/Reuters

More than 300 people drowned or were feared dead after a boat packed with African migrants caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lam(...)